I've now been a Chicago resident for six months. And I've been welcomed by both the people and the weather (so far). It's finally beginning to feel like my new "home." But that doesn't mean I haven't been homesick as hell. I really didn't anticipate just how much I would miss my friends and family when I pulled out of Ruston, Louisiana.
The one drawback to living in a city this size is that no one knocks on my door every day to talk music, drop off a pound of bacon, or split a bottle of wine. I miss that. I knew the greatest band of assholes in my little town and life without their presence has been trying. They also knew it was time for me to leave and encouraged me to go. In fact, a few of them actually kicked me out. I had sat in my own lethargy long enough and begun wasting away again. And for that, I am grateful. I shouldn't even be sad I suppose - I'm in a much better place physically, emotionally, and career-wise. But I'd sell my Joe Strummer t-shirt to have school night/pint night back or another sushi/Sundown Saturday.
What does this mean? Nothing, really. Chicago has won me over. I will stay here indefinitely. But distance makes me appreciate the people who supported me, laughed with me, smacked me when I needed it, and stayed with me when I couldn't be alone. It's just made me think about how I define being "home."
I happen to perform with some of the most phenomenally talented and downright nicest people in Chicago. And they've seen me very tired and downtrodden this week, and if it weren't for the kindness of several Geek Girls I would be a hot mess. The theatre is my home. Even when I'm frustrated, depressed, functioning on too little sleep, and missing my dog - being back onstage and working alongside so much talent reminds me that I made the right decision. As chintzy as it sounds, I'm always happiest in a theatre.
Now I just have to learn how to deal with my homesickness for those I had to leave, and remind myself that my new home is where I've always needed to be.